Minorities are expected to comprise 28 percent of voters in the Nov. 6, 2012, national election — that is, depending upon the success or failure of what non-conservatives call “voter suppression laws.” Demographers estimate that in 12 years, by 2024, the minority share of American voters will be 34 percent.
The number of white voters will continue to drop due to an ongoing decline in the white working class that tends to be conservative and because of generational replacement by now 12- to 34-year-olds who will take the place of older voters. Fear of genetic annihilation is causing anxiety among white people everywhere. They just cannot reproduce fast enough.
So current Republican Party operation that basically ignores significant aspects of the minority vote has longterm negative consequences. White nationalism is a losing strategy because there are increasingly fewer white votes left to squeeze out of the American electorate.
Reluctantly, Republicans will eventually deal with political reality and compete for some minority votes. They will go heavily for Hispanic voters and Asians but will continue to cede African Americans to the Democrats. The November 2012 election may be a final wake-up call for the GOP as many black Republicans and Independents reject Mitt Romney and, most, if not all, of the conservative ticket.
And both major political parties need to be aware of this: Between now and 2024, the days are numbered for Republicans to ignore reality and remain hard-nosed about cutting taxes and Democrats defending Social Security and Medicare. Each side of the aisle will have to give ground.
As former Republican governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman writes, “political polarization makes the compromise needed for strong governance nearly impossible.”
Unfortunately for African Americans and, thus for non-Cuban Latinos, leadership has not seen fit to coalesce, organize and educate their people en masse to at least ameliorate the effect of voter restrictions in 37 states. This grossly irresponsible lack of activism could lead to chilling consequences at local and state levels, as well as the presidential election come November.
Did you know that these laws could keep more than five million Americans from voting? In Florida, for example, there are restrictions on voter registration, early voting (favored by working-class blacks and Latinos) and address changes. And it is now even harder to get voting rights restored for ex-offenders.
Florida has tightened its voting laws during the past two years because, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, it is a battleground state for the presidential election and for congressional seats, as well. Last year, Florida became one of five states to pass a law restricting early voting. Why? Statistics show that one-third of voters nationally in 2008 voted before Election Day. President Obama won. Republicans won’t give that edge to Democrats again.
Did you know that, due to criminal record, 13 percent of African-American men, nationwide, cannot vote? That’s seven times the national average. African Americans comprise 38 percent of all disenfranchised voters in America. (For the above and other voter restriction data sources, visit motherjones.com/voting and the August 2012 issue of Mother Jones magazine.)
Wherever we as a people lost the moral significance and thrust of the adage “charity begins at home,” its need is most apparent now. We have lost our way in the darkness. There is no North Star to guide us that we can see in our blindness. So we abandon the sanctity of home, neighborhood, city, country and world. We allow charlatans to lead us and the children suffer from the lack of loving guidance.
We want to do nothing much for ourselves and look to others to lead us. Though the path of righteousness lies before us, we simply gather there and stare and will not move forward. Though we have been given great numbers and strength, we turn on each other and waste God’s gifts.
We are not cursed; we are blessed. How else could we have survived the Middle Passage, 400 years of slavery, discrimination, segregation and poverty? Ours is a metamorphosis known to no others — an all but genealogical regeneration. We must have no fear and we must step out into the path forward, into the light.
Al Calloway is a longtime journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle. He may be reached at Al_Calloway@verizon.net